The importance of slip-resistant flooring is at the top of many folks’ minds when shopping for the best floors for their home or business. In fact, you might be wondering if a shiny floor like polished concrete is slippery?

Polished concrete is no more slippery than other smooth flooring options. This fact has been proven time and again by research from international bodies.

There are standards about floor slipperiness, ensuring that everyone can test that floors are safe. In this blog, we can share some resources about slip resistance and how polished concrete stacks up.


Measuring Slip Resistance

The former standard for measuring the static coefficient of friction (SCOF), or slipperiness, of walking surfaces, is Standard B101.1 ANSI/NFSI. This standard has since been discredited and is no longer used for assessing floor safety.

The next standard, known as ANSI B101.3, focuses on measuring the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) by introducing a trace of wetting agent, specifically sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), commonly found in detergents, into the water used during testing. The safety threshold of greater than 0.42 DCOF is based on research conducted at the University of Wuppertal, which involved human subjects walking down a ramp at varying angles and comparing the results with BOT-3000 tests (an earlier version of the current BOT-3000E) conducted using the B101.3 wetting agent concentration.

The third and latest standard, A137.1, was authored by the Tile Council of North America and is currently included as a reference in the 2012 International Building Code. This standard addresses ceramic tile safety on level surfaces, requiring a minimum coefficient of friction (COF) value of 0.42 or higher.


Slip Resistance Of Polished Concrete

The Tile Council of North America did wet COF testing on different categories of polished concrete and found that all samples surpassed the 0.42 threshold. In fact, most were above 0.5, meaning a high-traction surface.

These results make it clear that properly polished concrete is slip-resistant flooring. You can have these tests performed on your floor to understand their slipperiness and address any issues you find.


Why Are Floors Slippery?

Slips and falls often occur on wet or dirty surfaces, rather than solely on polished concrete or shiny floors. Complex human dynamics contribute to these incidents.

Moreover, proper housekeeping practices are crucial for all hard surface flooring, including polished concrete. The placement of appropriate walk-off mats at entrances or lobbies of public buildings serves as the first line of defence for slip-resistant flooring.

Numerous human factors contribute to slips and falls, which cannot be included in standardized tests. These factors encompass human physiology, psychology (mindset at the time of the fall), and footwear condition.